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‘7th Heaven’ Actor’s Divorce Trial Could Take A Twist Following The Release Of Damaging Tapes

7th Heaven star Stephen Collins may not be actually feeling in ‘seventh heaven’ right now after reports of the release of an audio on the TMZ website last month, where he confessed to molesting underage girls. The audio, may not be likely to be played in the courtroom but could affect Collins’s divorce trial and has done enough to damage his career.

According to reports, his confession was recorded during a therapy session and handed over to the police by Collins’s wife. Several re-runs of 7th Heaven have been taken off the air while the actor doesn’t seem to have any new roles being offered to him.

That should not be surprising!

An Ugly Ending

'7th Heaven' Actor’s Divorce Trial Could Take A Twist Following The Release Of Damaging Tapes

No charges have been filed against Collins as yet despite confirmation of the allegations from three law enforcement agencies. Divorce attorneys say, the allegations are likely to be an issue during the divorce trial in which Collins and his actress and estranged wife, Faye Grant, need to divide assets they have procured during their 25-year plus marriage. According to a court filing by Collins’ divorce attorney, his client’s future earnings are reduced to only his investments. A major part of the battle in the divorce is about money, making it one of the few unpleasant Hollywood divorces in recent history.

Collins filed for divorce in 2012 while his wife, in a court filing in 2013, provided information about the molestation allegations. Grant said she was compelled to so after her estranged husband refused to seek treatment despite admitting that he molested young girls. However, she denied handing over a recording to TMZ. Based on California’s ‘no fault’ divorce laws, couples are required to divide their assets equally if they do not have any prior agreement while the cause of a breakup is not relevant in court.

Big Money

What’s at stake for the Collins couple is property and earnings, which includes two properties in Brentwood in Los Angeles and more than $13,000 a month in support for Grant. According to court filings by Grant’s divorce lawyers, Collins is likely to have assets worth over $5 million once the divorce case is over.

Complications

Grant says she is only seeking what she entitled to under California law and reiterated that the audio is not part of the divorce proceedings. Collins’ attorney refused to make any public statements. However, the audio is likely to raise a number of questions. Apart from legal issues, there are also ethical issues, which could have an impact on the couple. One major issue is the recording of the audio despite the confession being made in private during a therapy session. Client confidentiality is in question while psychologists are required to obtain permission from their patients before any recording is made during therapy sessions.

Some attorneys are of the opinion that audio can be used in court although it does test the limits of doctor-patient confidentiality. Some say that secret recordings are common especially when one spouse is all out to get an upper hand in a divorce trial. While Grant says the audio will not be used in the trial, the allegations have already been made public. Is there an ulterior motive?